Austin Breakfast

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Autumn Leaf Pile, Dark Wood, Hay, Leather, Raisins, Brown Toast, Caramel, Cream, Fruity, Herbs, Malt, Musty, Roasted nuts
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Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Heather Chin-Spin
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 10 oz / 295 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “The smell of the dry leaf is interesting – I feel so close to placing it but just can’t. It’s a little sour (in a grape-ish way), a bit musty (in a hay-like way) and a bit sweet...” Read full tasting note
    40
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “So this is suppose to be Texas’s take on Irish Breakfast. Zhi Tea’s Austin Breakfast uses a Sri Lankan ceylon to get you out of bed and moving. Will this tea make Texas proud? This dark brew is in...” Read full tasting note
    82
    bravedave 30 tasting notes
  • “This was another sample from Joshua who is working with Zhi Tea. Thanks, Joshua!! The dry leaf has a very sweet, Ceylon-like aroma. Like hay and vintage leather. The leaves...” Read full tasting note
    82
    tabby 540 tasting notes
  • “I received this tea as a sample from Joshua – thank you! The dry leaves smell a lot like the Chinese dried plums that I loved to eat when I was little. I followed the directions and used 2...” Read full tasting note
    whimsical_aria 13 tasting notes

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6 Tasting Notes

40
911 tasting notes

The smell of the dry leaf is interesting – I feel so close to placing it but just can’t. It’s a little sour (in a grape-ish way), a bit musty (in a hay-like way) and a bit sweet (in a honey-type way).

I’m giving this a go sans milk and sugar though, based on smell and just the general nature of breakfast teas, I suspect this might be best with some additives.

Okay, this is a bit weird. The front end of the sip has a very nice flavor – sort of honeyed malt with a dash of maybe peaches? – and it leads me to expect great things. But then it just sort of fizzles. The taste just tanks into this flat, thin, woody textured… thing. And the aftertaste leaves me feeling like I’ve just licked a used cardboard box.

The description of this tea says it is supposed to be “complex and uplifting”. I’m going to assume the uplift portion of the program is caffeine and just focus on the “complex” bit. If by complex you mean confusing, sure, I’ll go with that. But other that that flash of brilliant potential at the beginning, there’s nothing complex about this tea. The bulk of the taste feels… hollowed out. Like there are things happening around the edges but it fades out when it gets to the center, where it should be wowing me with yum.

And now I’m noticing, after each sip when the aftertaste hits, I keep making a face like I smell something bad. I don’t, in fact, smell something bad, but this tea leaves a bitter aftertaste. Not normal Assam bitter which I associate as a nutty bitter that is bitter, yes, but not entirely unpleasant. This bitter reminds me of when my trash smells a little funky and needs to be taken out even if the bag isn’t full.

I’m not quite half way through my cup and I wish I were done. Well, can’t hurt to add sugar and milk, so let’s see how it is then…. Better. The bitter end note and thin middle taste is gone but sadly so is the flash of pretty at the front. Instead, I’m tasting a fairly unimpressive but pretty drinkable tea. In fact, it gives me flashes of having tea with my English host family oh-so-many years ago. I can practically picture their living room and hear the mom’s voice apologizing for her bad language.

For bringing up happy memories, I will not hate this tea. In fact, I made have a tiny soft spot for it now, if only when it has been sugared and milked. (Uhm, not milked like a cow. You know what I mean.) But I will never again drink it straight. And I might only drink it doctored when I’m feeling sad or nostalgic. Therefore I give this tea a very strong ‘meh’.

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82
30 tasting notes

So this is suppose to be Texas’s take on Irish Breakfast. Zhi Tea’s Austin Breakfast uses a Sri Lankan ceylon to get you out of bed and moving. Will this tea make Texas proud?

This dark brew is in fact very similar to a typical Irish breakfast. The dry leaf has a dark, weathered, assam-like scent, while the wet leaf transforms to being more toasty. I like the strong liquor scent that has a hint of sweetness buried underneath; It’s bold without being too intimidating. This ceylon is totally no-nonsense and no frills. It is sharp and in your face. Sipping this tea, you get hit with a full-bodied black from start to finish with almost no astringency. What makes this work is that there is little to no harshness to the tea. Many breakfast teas can be harsh leaving a somewhat unsatisfying sip and afterstate. This tea, while strong, remains relatively smooth throughout. There is a non-threatening intensity to it all.

I first recieved a sample of this tea as a gift and have since ordered a little more. It’s basic and to-the-point. If you prefer sweeter/flavored teas, stay far away from this one. If you like strong Irish breakfast tea, it’s worth giving this Texas-version of breakfast tea a shot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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82
540 tasting notes

This was another sample from Joshua who is working with Zhi Tea. Thanks, Joshua!!

The dry leaf has a very sweet, Ceylon-like aroma. Like hay and vintage leather. The leaves themselves are little brown nuggets, some broken, some whole. The resulting dark amber tea is a strong cup. Definitely appropriate for the first tea of the day. I get notes of leather, raisins, hay, and something woodsy. Sort of like the way the forest smells when it hasn’t rained in a long time.

I can’t say I’m as impressed with this one as I was with Assam Breakfast. It’s pretty astringent, though the flavors are nice. I guess there’s a sharpness that’s not appealing to me as much. But still, I’m happy to have it for the upcoming first cool mornings of fall.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dark Wood, Hay, Leather, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
MrQuackers

The other day it rained after not raining for a while and I enjoyed that aroma. A good breakfast tea should have some astringency to it along with depth due to tanin. Teas that don’t tend to be flat.

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13 tasting notes

I received this tea as a sample from Joshua – thank you!

The dry leaves smell a lot like the Chinese dried plums that I loved to eat when I was little. I followed the directions and used 2 tsp/cup in boiling water for 3 minutes. The resulting brew was a pretty amber color. I’m not sure if I used too many leaves or accidentally oversteeped, but it was quite bitter. However, I do also get a maltiness and a fruitiness. It does pack a punch, so I think it’s great as an early morning wake-up tea! I rarely take my tea with milk, but I think this tea would be good with some milk.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
112 tasting notes

This is the other tea that Joshua was kind enough to send me. It is a single estate black tea from the Venture Estate in the Dimbula district of Sri Lanka. Though I am still not huge on Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) black teas in general, I do tend to have a somewhat more favorable opinion of some Dimbula teas. I can honestly say that this one is solid.

I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 208 F water for 3 minutes. I also tried slightly longer infusion times (4 and 5 minutes), but the results were not really all that different from the 3 minute preparation. This review will specifically refer to that one.

After infusion, the liquor showed a dark, clear amber in the cup. I noted interesting, but not particularly distinct aromas of flowers, leather, caramel, herbs, must, and hay on the nose. There was also a very slight fruitiness. In the mouth, I detected notes of cream, malt, brown toast, leather, roasted nuts, herbs, must, hay, and flowers. This tea also displayed something of a leafy, almost grassy quality that is pretty much impossible for me to describe. I also thought I detected a hint of fruitiness in the mouth. It was very faint and quickly flitted across the palate, but I was reminded a bit of stewed apricot and mango. It may have just been me though.

All in all, I kind of like this tea. As mentioned above and in several of my other reviews, I do not tend to be a huge fan of black teas from Sri Lanka. There are exceptions, but in general, they do not consistently do it for me. This one is a little better than some others that I have tried. It is smooth, has just enough flavor to be interesting, and would serve its purpose as a breakfast or afternoon tea. I do wish it had just a little more body, but that is a common complaint I level against many black teas from Sri Lanka. Overall, I don’t see any serious issues with this tea. It’s a solid little breakfast tea that should appeal to fans of no frills black teas.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Caramel, Cream, Fruity, Hay, Herbs, Leather, Malt, Musty, Roasted nuts

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
121 tasting notes

Another sample from Joshua. Thank you again!

This is a very malty tea, like the Breakfast Assam from this company. I must say that I usually steer clear from Assam tea, but these two have been completely different than most other Assam. This one in particular is sweet, malty, slightly chocolaty, smooth, and not very astringent (as I’ve experienced many times before). I’m really considering getting more of these two when winter comes, as a morning brew.

On a side note: My dad really loves Assam, and I thought that I’d share these two from Joshua with him. He said, “These are very good. Great black, with cream, or sugar.” My dad isn’t picky, but I know he has added these to his wishlist. Perhaps I’ll buy some for his birthday/Christmas this year; considering he only drinks tea with me or in the winter.

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